Monday, December 7, 2015

Panaji: Railway minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off by remote the Mumbai-Margao-Mumbai 1,000 passenger capacity double decker express train on Sunday from the Kala Academy in Panaji. The service will be operated three times a week. Prabhu said that the railways will soon sign an agreement with the Japanese government to improve safety and standards of Indian railways.

The AC Double Decker Express train no 11085 will have AC chair car coaches and will leave Lokamanya Tilak Terminal (LTT) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5.30 am and will reach Margao at about 5.30pm on the same day. Train no 11086 will leave Margao every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 5.10 pm. "Depending on the response the frequency will be extended," Prabhu added.

The train will halt at Thane, Panvel, Khed, Chiplun, Ratnagiri, Kankavali, Sawantwadi road, Thivim and Karmali.

Speaking on the long-pending demand to start the Goa-Tirupati train, Prabhu said that the train would be started soon. "Will definitely do it on an experimental basis," he added.

Prabhu also said that if required special tourist trains can be started during the current tourism season. He also announced double tracking of South-Western railway track from Vasco to Londa. "Work on double tracking of South-Western railway will commence soon," Prabhu added.

Prabhu said that for the modernization of Indian railways, the Union government has signed agreements with Japan and 10 other countries. "In a few days, the Japanese prime minister will arrive in India and during that time we will sign an agreement with Japan to increase safety and standards of railways," he added.

Prabhu said that very soon all tendering processes would be done online. He also said that railways, along with the state government, is establishing a joint venture company to develop infrastructure for railways. "Maharastra, Kerala, Karnataka and other states have agreed," Prabhu said adding further that GDP can be increased by 2 to 2.5 per cent only because of railways. Chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar said that the train will not only benefit tourists but it will also help commuters on Goa-Mumbai route. He also demanded that railways take up long-pending demand of road over bridges along the Konkan railway track.

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